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Kurt Motamedi and Charla Griffy-Brown Author Article on Office Politics and Misogyny for Chief Executive

Dr. Kurt Motamedi and Dr. Charla Griffy-Brown

Office politics can be dangerous and toxic to workplaces, especially if left unchecked. Office politics or organizational politics is defined as the process and behavior in human interactions involving power and authority. Dr. Kurt Motamedi and Dr. Charla Griffy-Brown share how negative office politics creates an environment that wears down employee motivation, destroys teams and produces paralyzing stress. When misogyny is mixed in, the results can lead to corporate cultural disaster. This was witnessed three years ago when light was shed on movie producer Harvey Weinstein and revealed a much wider picture of Hollywood’s disturbing corporate culture steeped in misogyny. While Weinstein’s trail led to partial reckoning and calls for change in the entertainment industry, misogynistic work cultures occur across all industries and work settings.

CEOs serve an important role when creating an environment that empowers women and they must address current workplace challenges. Dr. Motamedi and Dr. Griffy-Brown provide four recommendations to CEOs on how they can eliminate office politics tied to misogynistic cultures before they destroy the organization:

  • Disrupt commoditization. Studies have shown that women who display behaviors associated with leadership in men are often described negatively. In other cases, women are devalued to the point of being indistinguishable and treated as objects. CEOs must reinforce uniqueness and novel thinking as a value and must encourage innovation that disrupts commoditized thinking.
  • Break the code. CEOs must decipher and break unwritten rules and codes that come from inside jokes, backhanded insults, and closed-door meetings.
  • Disarm coordinated assaults. CEOs must set the tone and deliver a message that coordinated assaults against any employee are not tolerated.
  • Head off self-inflicted abuse. CEOs can work with HR managers to head off internalized sexism or self-inflicted abuse. By empowering women there is an opportunity to reverse this trend and create a workplace environment in which diverse optics enable companies to address challenges.